Kratom’s Future In Denver And Colorado After New Bill Becomes Law

Mac Haddow admits the final measure is a “compromise”

The controversy over the Colorado General Assembly‘s passage of a new bill related to fentanyl, which will allow individuals to be charged with a felony for possessing the drug even if they don’t realize it was mixed with another substance, overshadowed the legislature’s approval of another groundbreaking measure: Senate Bill 22-120, also known as Regulation of Kratom Processors, the first major bill in the state to focus on kratom, a popular organic substance of Southeast Asian origin.

Governor Jared Polis, who asked the federal Food and Drug Administration to lift its public-health warning on kratom while a member of Congress, is expected to sign Regulation of Kratom Processors — and that’s good news for Mac Haddow, senior fellow on public policy for the American Kratom Association, an advocacy organization that pushed hard for the measure’s approval. But Haddow, who touts kratom as a pain reliever that can help wean individuals off dangerous and addictive opiates, admits that the final measure is a “compromise” that calls for a study to be completed before full regulation of the substance by the state.

In the meantime, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, which banned kratom for public consumption in 2017 and subsequently required labels warning that it shouldn’t be ingested in order for kratom to be sold in the city, has essentially put enforcement on hold while waiting to see what will happen with the bill.

“DDPHE is in the process of evaluating the legislation and working to understand the impacts to regulations in Denver after the bill is signed and becomes law,” notes spokesperson Emily Williams. “We’ll have more information available in the coming months. As guidance from the FDA has been limited, we still have concerns related to the safety of kratom and are hopeful this legislation, which provides more oversight of the product, will help address these concerns.”

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